Titles to mean hectic start to year for indoor hockey teams

TASMANIAN indoor hockey players will be busy competing at several different national championships in the new year.

Launceston's Silverdome will host the national under-15 boys' and girls' championships from January 13-16, followed by the under-18 men's and women's titles from January 17-20.

The state will also field men's and women's teams in the open national championships to be held in Canberra from January 5-8, followed by the under-21 men's nationals.

National under-15 and under- 18 championship convenor Gai Cross said the Tasmanian junior teams had been improving each year and were aiming for competitive performances.

"We have 11 teams coming here for the under 15s and 10 teams in the under 18s with over 300 players, officials and umpires," she said.

"We hope to finish in the middle of the pack.

"The opens going away should be about the same - we don't have the strength and depth of players in other states but we have some really good players lining up including Olympian Tim Deavin in the open men's.

"We finished fourth in the under-21 men last year and some of those players have moved up to play in the opens this year."

Tasmania hosted the national indoor hockey under-21 championships at the Silverdome in 2011 - the first time since 1995.

David Budgeon and Susan Kaye will coach the state open teams.

Colin Pearson will be in charge of the under-18 men, Nathan Dart the under-15 boys and Kim Lonergan the under-15 and under-18 girls.

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